by Jim Whaley
I examine a ton of discipleship material each semester as we prepare for our collegiate church/campus ministry small groups. And I’m a huge Threads proponent. I do my very best to be exclusive with Threads material. Sometimes it’s hard, but for a large majority of our small groups, we do use Threads. When I first saw Holy Vocabulary though, something clicked. Even though it’s laid out like a “typical” small group resource, having each “word” stand alone gave me a whole new dynamic to work with. My challenge at that point became trying to figure out the “how.”
That’s when fellow campus minister, Scott Bryant, introduced me to the Ten-Minute Takeaway (TMT) micro-Bible study concept. In just 10 minutes, we take a look at Scripture, break it down, and find ways to apply it in everyday life. TMT is one of the most innovative additions to our small group family ministry. Here at Tiffin University, we offer TMT two days a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:30pm. I grab a table in our Student Center, close to the entrance of our cafeteria. Students gather around the table…some sitting, some standing…many looking to see what’s going on. We begin at 6:30 and are guaranteed to be finished at 6:40. For real. Ten minutes. If students want to hang around and discuss the material longer, great! But if a student needs to leave for night class or other appointments, not a problem. Here’s the way I look at: For 10 minutes, I’ve got the hottest thing going in the Student Center, where at that specific place and time, we have a large majority of our on-campus students just hanging around. I’ve been extremely surprised by the number of walk-ups that we get, just from students who are not a part of our ministry but curious to check things out.
Scott and I both felt that Michael Kelley’s Holy Vocabulary study by Threads was perfect for our ten-minute setting. We break down each session and use one word for each TMT. Yes, we move rapidly with the material. It’s fast, it’s intense, it’s in-your-face…but that’s what this generation wants. And we’re giving it to them…all in ten minutes! Between both of our campuses, we’re averaging almost 10 to 15 students at each TMT. Most of those students want to hang out longer and discuss the topic! It’s really incredible to see the look on their faces when I wrap things up and say “…and that’s 10 minutes!”
I strongly encourage you to prayerfully consider adapting this concept to your campus. Sure, you might have to tweak it to meet the needs of your specific campus, but I can guarantee it WILL work!
If you have any questions about our TMT Small Group Ministry, please feel free to contact us! We would be glad to help you get things started on your campus.
Jim Whaley is the pastor for H2O Collegiate Ministry & Campus Church at Tiffin University in Tiffin, Ohio. Follow his blog at www.LifeAtH2o.org or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Scott Bryant is the BSU Campus Minister at Ozark Technical Community College in Springfield, Missouri. Scott an be reached at email@example.com.